Citi ThankYou and Avianca Lifemiles Just Got More Valuable

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Avianca Lifemiles is a strong Star Alliance program known for:

  • Selling miles at relatively low prices, with frequent bonus promos
  • Not assessing massive surcharges on awards
  • Some degree of online booking functionality (I mean, let’s compare to Singapore KrisFlyer that still doesn’t search any partners)
  • A credit card with a 40-60k bonus from a non-major bank
  • Good value award chart with some gems

Because of Lifemiles’ prior fuzzy geography on creatively placing airports in award regions, there is a solid body of online English coverage on how to use the program, unlike some of Citi’s other transfer partners, which can be daunting to figure out.

Until now, the lacking ingredient was a strong transfer partner. They did not even have SPG.

Citi ThankYou Avianca transfers

Citi ThankYou steps in to rectify that with 1:1 transfers (in increments of 1,000).

This mutually increases the value of both programs. It even makes Lifemiles a better contender for primary Star Alliance program. Yay!

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shar
shar
4 years ago

did you seriously link to tpg?

Stefan @ Rapid Travel Chai
Reply to  shar

I link to them from time to time: http://rapidtravelchai.boardingarea.com/2016/08/22/chase-sapphire-reserve-launched-depends-read/.

There are only so many paying jobs writing miles and points, so I don’t hold it against their writers, a few of which produce quality pieces, that they write there. Other blogs that used to provide award program coverage have mostly migrated to tabloid items and deals.

shar
shar
4 years ago

I definitely see where you’re coming from, but I just feel any link to tpg is supporting the deception and unethical practices that go on there. But yes, I do agree quality writers have been lost to tpg. Julian being the best who was :/

Boris Minevich
Boris Minevich
4 years ago
Reply to  shar

What kind of deception and unethical things do they practice?

KanExplore
KanExplore
4 years ago

Do other people have good success redeeming LifeMiles? I signed up for the 60k credit card a year ago, and constantly find myself running into “Sold Out” or error messages when I try to book. This is when I see the exact same flights open for award travel on both United and Aeroplan websites. Is there a secret sweet spot of actual availability with LifeMiles? I’d like to like this program, but the frustrations have made it impossible.

Stefan @ Rapid Travel Chai
Reply to  KanExplore

I only got into the program with the introduction of the credit card. The buy miles stuff did not appeal to me even in GUM/SAW/etc days.

I have decent experience with straightforward stuff like a SEA-TPE on EVA. Complex stuff I run into issues too, plus plenty of airports that they can’t/won’t sell so I’ve not used them for any of my intra-Africa trips on Ethiopian. From reports of others, though the mixed cabin problem was fixed a while back, there are still many website issues. Calling can sometimes bear fruit with extreme patience.

Boris Minevich
Boris Minevich
4 years ago
Reply to  KanExplore

I think the new web interface is causing the problem with any award search. There is a good thread on flyertalk hinting on how to get to the old interface for much better award search results.

Points Adventure
4 years ago
Reply to  Boris Minevich

Old UI wasn’t much better – many available flights don’t show

gavinmac
gavinmac
4 years ago

Why would anyone transfer a Citi point to Lifemiles when Lifemiles are often on sale for 1.4 – 1.7 cents per mile?

Stefan @ Rapid Travel Chai
Reply to  gavinmac

Generating Citi Thank you points can be quite easy with an AT&T Access More online 3x and lately a half-year of extra 2x by retention offers, for example. The other transfer partners I personally have had little use for so usually redeemed for airfare at 1.25. Even at discounted Lifemiles prices I am not a buyer.

Ryan Booth
Ryan Booth
4 years ago
Reply to  gavinmac

For some of us, the whole point of this hobby is avoid spending cash. I certainly don’t travel “for free,” as I have annual fees and costs associated with manufactured spending, but those costs are really all I can afford, and I don’t want to spend additional cash to travel.